When South Africa posted a total of 284 in their first innings in their first Test match against England at SuperSport Park, Centurion, which began on December 26, it was not considered a good enough score.
But Proteas, helped by Vernon Philander first and Kagiso Rabada later, ensured that England’s much-vaunted batting side was bowled out for only 181. Only Joe Denly’s half-century was the silver lining for the visiting side.
Philander in his first spell bowled five maidens on the trot and also got the wicket of Rory Burns, catching him unawares with a raising delivery to be caught behind. England was only on 11 then. Immediately, Rabada got Dominic Sibley to snick him to Quinton de Kock.
Denly and Root put up some resistance for the third wicket with a 55-run partnership. Just when the Englishmen thought they were on course to recovery, Root poked at a Philander’s delivery only to nick it yet again to the South African wicketkeeper.
Philander, Rabada Help South Africans Gain Edge Over England
All-rounder Ben Stokes and Denly gave the home side a rather tough time before Denly was beaten off the inside edge off the bowling of Pretorius and snicked one to Kock. Bairstow scored only one before he was done by an in-swinger from Anrich Nortje.
Stokes, who was looking good, threw his wicket away by chasing a wider ball off Nortje’s bowling to be snapped up by de Kock. Soon a procession of wickets followed as England were bowled out in the 54th over of the innings. Rabada cleaned up Sam Curran and Stuart Broad while Philander struck once gain to knock off Jofra Archer. Buttler scored only 12 and became the sixth player to be caught behind on the second day.
The joy of South Africans was, however, short-lived as James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer removed the top three batsmen of the African continent, leaving them tottering at 40 for 3 at the time that this article was being filed.